Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman & Marc Goddard Look Back At UFC 245
It’s been two months since UFC 245, where in the main event, referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight in the last minute of the final round, awarding Kamaru Usman a TKO win over Colby Covington. The stoppage saw ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ defend his UFC welterweight title.
Although Covington won many fans over with his performance and heart for the 24 minutes he spent inside the Octagon with Usman, earlier this week he stated that he suffered food poisoning in the lead up to UFC 245. Speaking on the It’s All About Who You Know podcast (as transcribed by BJPenn.com), ‘Chaos’ blamed the UFC for making him ill.
“I’m not making excuses. I haven’t really told anybody, but the UFC was preparing meals for me all fight week, and I ended up getting really sick of one of their meals. I think they didn’t cook the chicken very good, and I got food poisoning two nights before the fight. I puked like 30 times, literally like 30 times.”
Covington went on to say that he wanted to pull out of the fight but was talked into fighting by his manager and owner of American Top Team, Dan Lambert.
“I told my manager Dan Lambert ‘I’m going to have to pull out of the fight, man’. He’s like ‘no, you can’t pull out man, you’re the main event. You can’t do this to the UFC, you just need to go through with it’. I ended up going through with it, but I didn’t feel my best. That kind of played into the decision not to wrestle [in the fight] because I didn’t feel strong.
“It’s like I was holding back a little bit because I knew I was puking, my liver and intestines were all messed up and I wasn’t at full strength. So what I’m trying to say is I was on my worst day and ‘Marty Fake Newsman’ was on his best day and I still beat him. So you can imagine what’s going to happen in the rematch when I’m at my best and he’s at whatever level he’s at. It’s going to be a completely different outcome.”
As well as stating he had food poisoning during fight week, Covington has also previously hit out at Goddard for not only giving Usman two injury time outs for a low blow and an eye poke when he shouldn’t have done, but also stopping the fight when he did.
Usman however disagrees. Speaking to MMA Fighting, the UFC welterweight champion defended Goddard and said it was a good stoppage.
“That’s the thing about me being rational and trying to see it from all sides, absolutely [it was a good stoppage]. Because taking myself out of it as the fighter that won and also taking myself out of it looking at it from Colby’s perspective but looking at it from the referee’s perspective. I hit him with some big, big shots in there.
“Hitting him with the right hand that hurt him. That clearly hurt him. Hitting him with the left hand that hurt him. Hitting him with a series of punches against the cage that definitely hurt him and then the big right hand that just sat him down really bad. So he’s hurt really bad, he got up, I let him up trying to fight back up and then hit him with another shot that just dropped him. For a referee looking at all of that, at the end of the day, you’re sprawled out and I’m beating on the side of your head, the referee’s got to protect you from yourself sometimes.
“You can say it’s controversial but you have to see the referee just saw you take all those big shots in a row. He has to be able to step in to protect you from yourself so you can live to fight another day.”
Although he looks likely to defend his title against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 252, Usman said that he hopes to run it back with Covington.
“I hope so. Because that was a fun fight. Not just myself but I think the media, the fans, everybody believed that was a fun fight.”
At least the two can agree on one thing. Speaking to MMA Junkie, Covington said he expects to have a rematch and trilogy with Usman.
“There has been some talks with the UFC, they like the idea of a rematch. They think it’s justified. I mean, look at the fight. I’m up three rounds to one going into the fifth round. I won the first, second and fourth, there’s no questions about that, and the UFC likes the idea. The fight delivered. It was a great fight, exciting fight, we put on a show for the people, but this has just started. This just started. That was round one, there’s round two and three coming. There’s a sequel and trilogy coming to this fight, so I think they like the idea of it.
“The people know who’s the real champion, and the people want round two. This is war, and we had one battle. But you know what, we’re just getting started. We’re just getting started. That was round one, there’s still round two and three to go, and next time it’s going to be a fair playing field. He’s not going to be able to fake injuries to get a momentum shift when I’m about to stop him in a fight, so it’s going to be a completely different outcome next time.”
Last week, Covington predicted that Masvidal will price himself out of his title fight with Usman to protect all his hype, but Colby stated that whatever happens, he has time on his side.
“I’m going to sit tight, play my cards tight, and I’m going to keep getting better. I love training and just getting better and just improving every day, and I know I still have a lot to work on. I’m still new in the game, and the good thing for me is I’m still young. I’m 31 years young. Time is on my side, so whatever they want to do, I’m still going to be here. I’m not going anywhere, and there’s no one that can take me out of this position right now, so I’m going to sit back, I’m going to see what happens, if someone overprices themselves out of this title fight, and I deserve to fight for the title.
“I already won a world title. I’m a world champion. I’m the people’s champion. I’m America’s champion. I’m Donald Trump’s favourite fighter, so to get me back, they need to do me right and put an even playing field and give me my rematch versus ‘Marty Fakenewsman.’ And if not, if they want to go another direction, and they want to have ‘Street Judas’ journeyman Jorge Masvidal fight ‘Marty Fakenewsman’ then that’s fine. I can wait for the winner. Time is on my side. I’m not going anywhere. We can fight by the end of this year.”
Meanwhile, referee Marc Goddard has defended the stoppage in the Usman vs Covington fight. Speaking with Dan Hardy on their new podcast Listen!, Goddard said that he felt he got the decision spot on.
“[It was a] difficult fight. I know I handled it on the money, to a T. I’m seeing things unfold, and I see Colby put down twice in rapid order – plus 24 minutes of back-and-forth before that. So there’s a lot of damage sustained. Then I see him go down, and obviously he stays in that turtle position started on the double, then pulling his hands back. This is where everything will narrow in for me. I’m now firmly put in the spotlight. I have a decision to make and I’m trying to assess this. I have to assess this, real time, with everything I saw, etc..
“I’m looking at Colby, and then I see the damage he’s sustained, the two knockdowns, etc.. When you are face down, when I can’t see you, I can’t read you. It’s difficult for me to…that exasperates everything further. So I’m now trying to compute in my mind, ‘Are you there, are you not?’ Could I have let that fight go on? Yeah. Could have I stood back and let it go on? Yeah. Should I have let it? And that’s the narrative here. Should I have? And that’s the point I make when I’m assessing what happened, assessing the position he’s in, two knockdowns, he’s being punched.”
Was Marc Goddard right to stop the fight when he did? And how do you think a rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington goes?